A few months ago I started experiencing something that was very unusual for me – ouchie periods. I always considered myself blessed in the red plague (as M calls it) department because I always had light, non-painful periods that were generally over in 3-4 days. While I’d generally get a blinding headache that announced the start of my period, I rarely had cramps and it all happened on a clockwork schedule that would rival the Japanese rail system.
I grew up watching my mother and sister having an awful time every month. My mum would take painkillers like candy, curl up into a little ball for a week to ten days and complain that someone needed to make maxi-maxi-maxi pads because maxi pads just weren’t cutting it. And although my sister was always a tampon girl, she didn’t have an easier time of it. So when I started the getting periods from hell at the beginning of this year, my first thought was that my fucked DNA was finally kicking in.
This went on for a couple of months and then, as well as the pain, my once-clockwork periods started coming more frequently and then I had all this weird stuff coming out of me (I’ll spare you the details…) to the point that it seemed like I was just having one long endless period and this was right before I went to Japan for my pilgrimage. I made some emergency stops on my pilgrimage to buy supplies and I was constantly feeling like I needed to go to the toilet. Some days turned into a game of , “How long can I hold on for??” that almost rivalled my trip to China, so when I returned, I made the dreaded appointment with the doctor to get it checked out.
The pap smear came back clear so then it was off for an ultrasound I went. I was a bit anxious about the thought of going for another pelvic ultrasound because it involves drinking at least a litre of water and holding it for several hours. You may remember the last time I had to do that, which ended in me squatting and peeing on the side of a busy road on my way to the appointment (which of course had to be cancelled and so I had to do it all over again.) After that experience I decided to go a bit easy on the drinking this time, except that I erred too much on the side of caution and didn’t drink enough so they sat me back down in the waiting room and plied me with coffee and water for half an hour until I was ready to burst. I was grateful that there was no humiliating golden showers on someone’s lawn this time.
The ultrasound began as an external and then turned into an internal. For those of you who have never had an internal ultrasound, it involves shoving a long dildo up your snatch and lying there while the technician moves it around inside you, taking measurements of your uterus and ovaries along the way. The technician assured me that she was very experienced in causing the least amount of discomfort (“Because I do a lot of nuns!”) and I was almost tempted to tell her that an ultrasound wand is probably the least exotic thing I’ve had up my hoo-ha.
Needless to say, there was also an interesting conversation about my piercings and tattoo which began with her asking, “Are you gay?” and culminated in her comment, “I never would have picked you for one of those types. So you’re one of those people with all sorts of secrets!”
*rolls eyes at the ‘nillas*
Anyway, they found a lump in my uterus which they think is a polyp, but I’m off to a gynaecologist next week to have it checked out further. I had to wait six weeks for an appointment with a male doctor and if I wanted to see a female doctor, it was going to be 10 weeks +. Good thing I wasn’t dying or anything… And that is with private health cover! I don’t really have a hang-up with a male gynaecologist as long as he does the job. I always used to have a male doctor do my pap smear and breast exam and he was actually the one who found the cyst in my breast so I’m cool with the ones who know what they are doing.